People Made These Things: Connecting with the Makers of Our World

Why do we sometimes know a lot about who made things, and why do we sometimes not?  Why does it sometimes matter to us, and why might it sometimes not?  These are the questions that are raised in the exhibit that will inaugurate the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology’s renovated Kroeber Hall Gallery. The exhibit explores objects from the collection that urge visitors to think critically about how perceptions of makers have varied in different times and different places. Objects such as ancient Peruvian jars, Tibetan Buddhist paintings, and Wedgwood china tell diverse stories of makers whose identities are obscure; a Yoruba divining tray, Karuk Indian baskets, and colorful Guatemalan textiles embody rich personal accounts of craftsmanship.  Visitors are invited to reflect on the makers of their lives and share their stories. The exhibit incorporates objects contributed by community members that illustrate the theme's relevance to everyday life.  The newly redesigned space, replete with warm woods and comfortable seating areas, creates a pleasing environment for audiences of all kinds.